Almost every day, we learn that another toy has been recalled because of high lead levels. Well, its not just toys that should cause parents concern – pipes, dirt and lead paint are often consumed by children and can cause lead poisoning.
According to our local paper, The Roanoke Times estimated 1,390 homes with lead paint will house children by year’s end in our area.
According to the CDC, for infants and young children, lead levels of 10 micrograms or more in a deciliter of blood can damage ability to learn. At higher blood lead levels (that is levels equal to or greater than 25 micrograms per deciliter), lead can damage people’s kidneys, blood, and nervous system. At very high levels, lead poisoning can cause mental retardation, coma, convulsions, or death.
One of the difficulties with lead poisoning, is that high lead levels will appear in children when they are young, but the damage of the poisoning may not be fully realized until they are adults.
So there is a moral to this story – for homeowners, tenants, land lords etc – make sure there is no chipping paint or dust from lead paint. Call your local health department to have your home tested, and ask your child’s doctor to test for lead levels. At least in Roanoke, until Jan. 1, 2008 -the City can help mitigate the problems!